Paddle Pays Tribute to Olympian Pullin in Gold Coast

Australian Associated Press is an Australian news agency.
July 11, 2020Updated: July 11, 2020

Hundreds of people have paddled into the waters off the Gold Coast to pay tribute to dual world champion snowboarder Alex “Chumpy” Pullin.

The crowd included Pullin’s partner Ellidy Vlug and surfing world champions Mick Fanning and Steph Gilmore.

Pullin, 32, died while spearfishing along an artificial reef off Palm Beach on the Gold Coast on July 8.

Friends and family joined by Pullin’s dog Rummi gathered on the beach early on Saturday morning before a group of boardriders paddled into the water for the surfing tribute.

Pullin was the flag-bearer for Australia at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

He won world championship titles in 2011 and 2013, and nine World Cup gold medals.

Pullin was raised in the foothills of the Victorian Alps in Mansfield, the support town for the Mt Buller ski resort which posted a tribute on its official Facebook page.

His parents owned and ran a ski shop in Mansfield and, according to his website, he learnt to ski at the age of three.

He took up snowboarding when he was eight.

Police are preparing a report on Pullin’s death for the coroner.

Cheryl Goodenough in Brisbane